TMJ Disorders: Holistic - Neuromuscular Analysis
In this author's experience TMJ problems, snoring, sleep apnea, teeth grinding and clenching are one and the same ball of wax. Clinical data indicates these conditions are caused either by structural imperfections or infections.
Infections such as Lyme Disease or chronic dental infections can make throat tissues swell up and cause narrowing of the wind pipe. People that have medical diagnosis of sleep apnea often times also have elevated C-reactive protein. Positive C-reactive protein blood test is indicative of inflammation in the body.
One anatomical structure that we must be aware of when treating all of the above mentioned problems is the tongue. Ideally, one's tongue should be in the mouth gently resting on the palate behind upper front teeth. Very few people now days have this luxury. Most people have their tongues sitting partially in their throats.
This misplaced position creates a constant stress for the body. As a result body and mind are never truly relaxed. Physically, this is equivalent to having a pebble in the shoe that you are not aware of. You know you walk crooked, but you don't know why.
Common complaint here would be: “I carry stress in my shoulders.” Mentally, you may be annoyed or irritable, but here your mind will instantly concoct a reason for you feeling this way. In practice, once breathing is made easier than what's been accustomed to ... irritability, fearfulness, and mental racing calm down. The main idea here is to reduce stress. Once stress is reduced it is easier for the body to begin repairing.
Today it is a common thing to have wisdom teeth removed or to go to an orthodontist to have teeth straightened out. Jaws that do not grow to their proper size will not be able to house the tongue. In order for the person to stand comfortably his posture has to be relaxed. In order for the person to breathe comfortably his oral posture has to be relaxed. Relaxed and comfortable oral posture means sufficient room to rest against the palate behind upper front teeth. Relaxed and comfortable oral posture means breathing through the nose is easy and effortless.
Holistic Dentistry Factoid
In the early nineteen hundreds a dentist named Weston Price traveled the world. He visited just about every corner of the globe. After that he published his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. There he showed how what person eats affects his teeth and jaws. Basically, when people ate of the earth they had straight, cavity free teeth with well developed jaws. Once people started eating processed, modern foods they instantly developed cavities and their jaws could no longer grow large enough to accommodate all the teeth. Visit www.WestonAPrice.org for more information.
L. K. DMD
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